Friday, 9 May 2014

Sex scandal: Entertainer assault's friend's daughter

Rolf Harris groomed and molested a friend of his daughter from the age of 13 onwards, a court has heard.
The children's entertainer is accused of indecently assaulting her and three other girls between 1968 and 1986.
The court heard she used alcohol to cope from the age of 14 and was abused by Mr Harris until she was 29.
Outlining its case at Southwark Crown Court, the prosecution described Mr Harris, 84, as a "Jekyll and Hyde" character. He denies all 12 charges.
His alleged victims were aged between seven or eight and 19 when the offences are said to have taken place.
Seven of the 12 counts are alleged to have been carried out on one victim - his daughter's friend - who lived near the Harris family in south London in the 1960s.
The court was read a letter Mr Harris is said to have written to the victim's father in 1997 asking for his forgiveness.
The jury was told Mr Harris wrote that the woman had confronted him about the alleged abuse.
"[She] told me she had been terrified of me," he is said to have written. "I said why didn't you just say no? She said to me: 'How could I say no to the great television star Rolf Harris?'"
Prosecuting, Sasha Wass QC said Mr Harris "accepts that he's had a sexual relationship with her, but avoids admitting that it took place while she was under age".
'Exploited children' The court heard how she was abused while on holiday with the family as well as in her home and his.
Rolf Harris arriving at court Mr Harris and his family were greeted by photographers as they arrived at court
Ms Wass told the court the assaults continued "when the opportunity arose" and that by the time she was 14 the girl was relying on alcohol to cope.
The jury was shown a school report which said the alleged victim had become "prone to tears and has been weeping about private/home matters".
Ms Wass added: "The prosecution does not, for a minute, suggest that there is not a good, talented and kind side to Mr Harris.
"But concealed behind this charming and amicable children's entertainer lay a man who exploited the very children who were drawn to him."
She added there was "a side of him which is sexually attracted to children and under-age girls" and that while working on television in Australia he was known as the "Octopus" because of the way he would put his hands on children.
Mr Harris's daughter, Bindi, and his wife, Alwen Hughes, were at his side as he arrived at court.
He entered a not guilty plea at a hearing in January.



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